Joint Analysis of Time-Evolving Binary Matrices and Associated Documents

We consider problems for which one has incomplete binary matrices that evolve with time (e.g., the votes of legislators on particular legislation, with each year characterized by a different such matrix). An objective of such analysis is to infer structure and inter-relationships underlying the matrices, here defined by latent features associated with each axis of the matrix. In addition, it is assumed that documents are available for the entities associated with at least one of the matrix axes. By jointly analyzing the matrices and documents, one may be used to inform the other within the analysis, and the model offers the opportunity to predict matrix values (e.g., votes) based only on an associated document (e.g., legislation). The research presented here merges two areas of machine-learning that have previously been investigated separately: incomplete-matrix analysis and topic modeling. The analysis is performed from a Bayesian perspective, with efficient inference constituted via Gibbs sampling. The framework is demonstrated by considering all voting data and available documents (legislation) during the 220-year lifetime of the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

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